Welcome to my Authors 40+ Series – sharing the stories of amazing authors who published their first book over the age of 40. The series features talented, experienced and inspirational writers who share their (often non-conventional!) writing and publishing journeys honestly and articulately. Next to feature, is Iuliana Foos!
1) What is the title and synopsis/premise of your first book and how old were you when you published it?
‘Bloodline Origins’ is the first book in the Bloodline trilogy and was published in April 2018, only a few months before my 50th birthday. It is a sweet/clean romance, with some tension, and follows my heroine, Ana, in her pursuit of becoming a vampire. The subject had been worked over and over again by many, so I figured I should bring my own fresh take on it. My vampires were first created by an alien species that came to Earth in search of a new home.
2) Tell me about writing the book e.g. where did the idea come from / how long did it take / what did you learn along the way?
I was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania. In my teenage years I visited Dracula’s Castle and the first spark of the story came to my mind inside the dingy rooms and dark corridors. It remained a dream for about thirty years. After life threw me a few curved balls, and I found myself in a new world, I took a leap of faith and started to write. The first version of the manuscript only took me about four months to write. Taking a creative writing class opened my eyes, and it was my turning point, when I became serious about becoming a published author. I started editing that first draft and it took me about two years and many, many versions of the story.
3) Tell me about your publishing journey step by step – what happened once the book was finished?
When I thought I was ready, I submitted query letters to literary agents. After about eighty rejections, I lost hope I would ever make it. Submitting straight to a smaller publishing house, Soul Mate Publishing, brought hope back. It was suggested I polish my work, and resubmit. In the next five months I rewrote pretty much everything and sent it out again. In June 2017 I was offered a contract for the whole series of three books.
4) Who or what has helped you the most in becoming a published author?
My mentor and dear friend, Michelle, has taught me everything I know about writing. I’ve learned from her the difference between telling and showing, how to write in a deeper point of view, how to avoid repetition, and so on. Without her help, advice, and infinite patience, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
5) What are the main obstacles you faced / overcame when writing and publishing your book(s)?
I have to say, English was and will probably always be my main struggle. Writing in a language that’s not my first has been a challenge. I like to believe I have improved, but there will always be a part of me wondering if I used the correct word, the appropriate tense, or if the comma is in the right spot.
6) How do you promote/advertise your book(s)?
I had been learning about marketing my book as I went. Posts on Facebook and Twitter are my main go-to methods. Also, holding a couple of book-signing events in my city helped. I got involved in many groups where readers and other authors interact. I honestly didn’t do much. I preferred to write the next two books in the series and start another project – a seven book series.
7) How did you celebrate the incredible achievement of your first book being published?
At first, with tears of joy and a lot of jumping around. Seeing my life-long dream becoming reality was my biggest accomplishment. It took countless hours of struggle, frustration, and doubt, but it all eventually paid off.
8) What advice would you give to other authors about to begin their publishing journey?
I think each journey is different. Some chose to self-publish, others, like me, prefer the rocky road of traditional publishing. No two paths will be the same. But either way, be your best. Show your work to others, accept and apply criticism. Even if sometimes you won’t hear what you’d like to, improve yourself. Make sure your work is professional, after all, it will have your name on it.
9) Where is/are your book(s) currently available to read and where can people find you online?
Bloodline Origins is currently available in eBook and paperback formats, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and so on. Here are a few links of where I can be found:
10) Are you working on anything new we can look forward to in 2019?
‘Bloodline Destinies’, the second book in the trilogy, is scheduled for release today – February 13th 2019! This book will take us five hundred years into the future. I am still working on the last edits with my publisher, and I’m excited about it.
The third and last in the series, ‘Bloodline Revelations’ will be released on August 14th 2019.
Thank you for taking part in my Authors 40+ Series Tamsin! If you are an author who published their first fiction or nonfiction book over the age of 40 and would like to be featured in this blog series just like Tamsin, Julie, Lynne, Devorah, Paul, Joanne, Paul, D.P., Reyna, Michael and Christina, please get in touch!